Revered by Muslims as the place where the prophet made a miraclous night journey to. The enclosing mosque was built in 691. Today the dome of the Rock is Jerusalem's most famous and instantly recognizable landmark.
Temple Mount (Har Habayit in Hebrew, Haram esh-Sharif in Arabic) is one of the holiest of all places and is recognised in both Jewish and Islamic religions as the site of Mount Moriah where Abraham offered his son as sacrifice. In the Jewish religion, King Solomon built the First Temple almost 3000 years ago but which was destroyed in 586 BC. The Second Temple was built in approx 450 BC and remained the key centre in Judaism until its destruction in 70 AD by the Romans. Only the Western Wall remained - and this has become the most revered of all sites in the Jewish religion - Ha'Kotel, the Western Wall or more commonly known at the Wailing Wall.
Mount Moriah remained in ruins until the end of the 7th century, when the Muslim conquest resulted in a 'House of Prayer' being erected over what was believed to be the actual bedrock where Abraham offered his sacrifice. So the Dome on the Rock (Qubbat al-Sakhra), one of the most famous of all Islamic buildings, was built. As it a shrine and not a mosque, alongside it, the al-Aksa mosque was built. Dome on the Rock is the third holiest site in Islam.
Entering the gates of the complex has never been that straightforward as it is dependent on prayer times etc. It's also dependent upon the political situation. Whilst it can change overnight, currently (June 2012) it is quiet and therefore access to Temple Mount from 7 - 10am Sun-Thu is possible. Access for tourists is from the entrance at the Wailing Wall only.
There are also many vantage points dotted round the city where you can get great views of the golden dome, including the steps overlooking the Western (Wailing) Wall, the church tower of St John's and various rooftops (Old City) and a few places outside the walls themselves, including the Mount of Olives.
This is definitly one of the most important religious sites in the old city. At least four religions are known to have used temple mount as a religious site: paganism christianity islam judaism.
Biblical studious have identified it with two biblical mountains of not certain location: Mount Moriah known as the place where the binding of Isaac took place, and Mount Zion known as the place where the Jebusite fortress had stood, anyway, as usual in this areas, both nterpretations are disputed.
The rules for visiting the Temple Mount *currently* are morning hours only, Sunday - Thursday.
This can change without notice. Check at your hotel and with the policeman posted at the entry.
Shabbat hours: Most Jewish sites are closed from sundown on Friday to Sundown on Saturday.
There is no public transportation. Does not include Sunday.
The Israel Museum is open on Shabbat. To get there take a taxi. Shabbat rates are 2 (not 1), like late night rates.
The Old City is probably your best choice for touring on Saturday.
Al-Aqsa Mosque or "the Farthest Mosque" is an Islamic holy place in the Old City. The mosque itself forms part of the al-Haram ash-Sharif or "Sacred Noble Sanctuary" (along with the Dome of the Rock), a site also known as the Temple Mount.
Widely considered as the third holiest site in Islam, Muslims believe that the prophet Muhammad was transported from the Sacred Mosque in Mecca to al-Aqsa during the Night Journey.
It is the holiest site in Judaism, the place where the First and Second Temples once stood.
The most famous Islamic site in Jerusalem is the Dome of the Rock (Qubbat as-Sakhrah). An impressive and beautiful edifice, the Dome of the Rock can be seen from all over Jerusalem
The Dome of the Rock is not a mosque, but a Muslim shrine. Like the Ka'ba in Mecca, it is built over a sacred stone. This stone is believed to be the place from which the Prophet Muhammad ascended into heaven during his Night Journey to heaven.
Temple Mount represents all that is good in the world as well as all that is bad. Its a symbol of religious devotion and religious fanaticism. Its the figure head of all the worlds most deeply held religious beliefs and the cause for all the fighting and disputes in the Middle East and beyond. But the one thing that stands out the most is simply the fact that it is the Temple Mount, the holy of holies and the historical icon of Jerusalem. That in itself makes it worth the time and effort it takes visit this sacred site. Visiting the Temple Mount is not a simple matter of walking on in whenever you feel like it. Because of the religious significance and tension of the site the Muslims take extreme precautions in admitting visitors. The entrance for tourists is right by the Western wall adjacent to the Dung Gate. It hard to miss as it is a completely out of place wooden structure that runs near the wall. The first thing you will want to do when you arrive in Jerusalem is ask around about when the admittance times are for Temple Mount as they do change. When I was there in March 2009 it was open Sunday through Friday between 12:30 and 1:30 and most people began lining up about 30 to 45 minutes before that time. They do a full security check so be sure to leave anything that could be deemed dangerous behind. However all the fuss is worth it as the Temple Mount will surely stand out as one of the highlights of any visit to Jerusalem.
If you have ever been to Jerusalem and visited the Western Wall (also called the "Wailing" Wall), you have stood at the base of the only remnant of the temple mount. This is where Jews go to pray and leave little notes in the cracks in the wall, sort of like a bulliten board to their god....but what was hidden for many years was the promenade that ran alongside this ancient wall, and of course the continuation of the wall itself. It had been buried and hidden under newer constructions. Today part of this promenade has been recovered but it is now underground and you access it through at tunnel where you walk along the base of the Western Wall that is today hidden from view. Quite the experience.
There is often I see confusion about those temples names, people confuse what is what and might name photos wrong, so just to make things clear, the main two building in the temple mount are the Dome of the Rock which is the famous golden cup and the Al-Aqsa Mosque which is the silver dome not so shiny these days.
The confusion might be also because of so many languages used in Jerusalem over its 3000 years.
This is the well known symbol of Jerusalem and probably the most contested site in the old city.
The sacred rock over which the dome has been built was a religious site long before Islam. Jews believe this is where Abraham prepared to sacrifice Isaac and other believe it stands over the site of Solomon's Temple and Herod's temple. Islam later believes this site to be where the Prophet ascended to heaven.
Built in 688-691 AD by the Umayyad caliph Abd al-Malik, the dome was intended to be a shrine for pilgrams.
Nowadays, you queque to access the site during the days and hours it is open, go thru security checks and scanners, but once up walk up the mount, the dome is a stunner, it has a huge visual impact. A very impressive and significant site, a must-do of old Jerusalem.
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